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NBC Reporter Grills Karine Jean-Pierre on Claim the Border Is Secure: 'How Do You Even Make That Argument?'

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is facing questions about border security as the issue of immigration is receiving renewed attention.

During a press briefing on Thursday, NBC News’ Kristen Welker asked if the White House stands by Vice President Kamala Harris’ assertion that the border is secure.

“What we stand by is that we are doing everything that we can to make sure that we follow the process that’s been put forward…to make sure that the folks that we encounter at the border be removed or expelled,” the press secretary responded. “The facts are more individuals encountered at the border will be removed or expelled this year than in any previous year.”

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However, Welker asked, “Is the border secure, Karine? Is the border secure?”

“I’m just going to refer back to the vice president. We agree with her. She is saying that there’s a lot of work to do…We agree that the border is secure, but there is still more work to be done,” Jean-Pierre said.

Welker countered, “The question becomes, how do you even make that argument when DHS has said it’s bracing for these potentially 2 million migrants to come?”

“We’ll say this. Rebuilding the immigration system — especially one that was decimated under the previous administration — won’t happen overnight,” Jean-Pierre said. “We know that there’s work to be done. But we’re doing the work to make sure that we remove and expel folks who are coming here who are being encountered at the border.”

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Still, she stressed that a “long-term solution can only come from comprehensive legislation that brings lasting reform to a fundamentally broken system.”

She also knocked the Republican governors of Texas, Arizona, and Florida for transporting migrants to other locations such as Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard.

“What we’re seeing Republicans doing…using migrants as a pawn is not the way to move forward on this. That’s not how we’re going to get this done,” Jean-Pierre said.

During an interview with NBC News, Harris was asked if she is confident the border is secure amid projections that the U.S. will see 2 million border crossings by the end of the fiscal year for the first time ever.

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“We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration,” the vice president responded.

She added, “But there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix given the deterioration that happened over the last four years. We also have to put into place a law and a plan for a pathway for citizenship for the millions of people who are here and are prepared to do what is legally required to gain citizenship.”

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